By on August 27, 2017

Toyota Yaris GRMN

Despite having a rich history in motorsports, Toyota is one of the last automakers that springs to mind when you think about present-day performance. But Toyota has been rebranding itself with edgier designs and additional attitude lately. It says it’s ready to bring forth a fully-fledged performance lineup for later this year — perhaps something akin to Lexus’ F cars.

The automaker already offers a performance lineup under its Toyota Racing Development label in North America and Gazoo Racing in Europe and Japan. However TRD has focused largely on off-roading, while Gazoo has trickled in from legitimate racing to develop small G-badged road cars with more moxie and a few extremely limited edition Gazoo Racing Meister of Nurburgring (GRMN) units with engines to match the aggressive visuals.

According to Automotive News, Toyota plans to announce what it calls a “new sports car series” at an event next month in Tokyo. But whether that’s to yield a more hardcore lineup under the Gazoo badge or something entirely new is unknown. The brand has already admitted it would bolster its GRMN offerings earlier this year, meaning September’s announcement could be a showcase of what that will look like.

Presently, Gazoo Racing Meister of Nurburgring has produced limited runs of the 86, Mark X, IQ, and Yaris with performance-enhanced suspensions, wheels, transmissions, engines, seats, and aerodynamics — none of which never made it to North America. That’s a shame because we wondered if a Toyota Yaris with double its current horsepower would have found a niche for itself here.

Granted, what works in the East doesn’t necessarily work in the West and the GRMN vehicles are expensive alternatives to the base equivalent. But, with TRD existing as little more than a way to place factory accessories onto your Tacoma, Tundra, or 4Runner, Toyota’s lack of a true sporting division in the region has become glaring and obnoxious.

The brand’s new line of sports cars will arrive sometime next month, ahead of the much-anticipated successor to the Toyota Supra. Hopefully, one or two of them will make it into America.

Toyota Yaris GRMN

[Images: Toyota]

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16 Comments on “Toyota Poised for New Performance Lineup Prior to Supra Successor...”

  • avatar

    could that be any uglier?

  • avatar

    N-platform car with a 400hp version of the 3UR-FE for $45K called Toyota Crown 400 to compete with the Stinger GT?

  • avatar

    This reminds me a lot of Subaru announcing special models, 95% of which are “Japan only”. A 2.0T Corolla with LSD? Or even with AWD? I’m listening.. A hopped-up Yaris? Yawn.. We already have the Fiesta ST, and those don’t seem to be selling that well – the equivalent Yaris is probably $30k.

    If I wanted something with tons of performance and could live with the backseat legroom of a Camaro/Mustang – I’d get a Camaro/Mustang. These days, they handle just fine with a track pack, and have more power than any factory Corolla will ever have.

    Subaru has left use Legacy GT owners out in the cold – nothing our size that can be “hot” and also be a family cruiser. The new STI is about the same size as my LGT, but my wife isn’t into manuals, and I could live with a GOOD auto – would make commute to work easier..

  • avatar

    GRMN Yaris is a fantastic subcompact performance vehicle from what I can see. Would love to see this offered here.
    Limited quantities of course. 500 would sell just fine I expect and create buzz for Yaris.

  • avatar

    Toyota already has the ugly down pat.

  • avatar

    Geez, it’s so damn obvious. turbo_awd has the right idea.

    Corolla Im with the Toyota/Lexus 2.0T, 6sp manual, LSD.

    Just do it Toyota. Parts are on the shelf.

    And don’t make it look friggin crazy like Civic Type R.

  • avatar

    Toyota performance… that’s an oxymoron.

    • 0 avatar

      ^Anyone with a JZ-powered car laughs at this statement.

      • 0 avatar

        What car is that? Beyonce?

        • 0 avatar

          USDM: Supra, IS300, GS300
          JDM: Supra, Chaser/Celsior/Mark II, Aristo, Crown, Verossa

          All still popular and competitive Toyota performance cars today, especially the 1J-powered drift sedans.

          My 2003 MkII iR-V is 280+hp RWD sedan, lighter than a Mustang, and near bulletproof reliable. Meanwhile Supras, a 25+ year old platform, are still holding their own against turbo Lambos and R35 GT-Rs.

          And for current production, I’d take a GT86 in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture over anything American-made except a Corvette.

      • 0 avatar


        ^ Or a 3S-GTE…

        Back in the 90’s, Toyota performance was definitely a “thing”.

  • avatar

    The front end in the first picture looks like this was a crash test vehicle they tried to bump back out.

  • avatar

    The grille shape is just nasty. Okay, rectangular has been done before, but this alternative is look-away ugly.
    What are they thinking?!

  • avatar

    Ok I didn’t know the GRMN iQ Supercharger existed and that’s pretty awesome, that tiny box with 120+ hp and handling enhancements. The G’s trim solely seems to be applied to ridiculous vehicles in Japan, such as Priuses, Harrier (Lexus RX analogue) and mini-MPVs with lowered suspension and “sport seats”.

    First course of action should be a Juke Nismo-rivalling ~200hp C-HR with an LSD except without the body kit and preferably without the seats that are somehow even less comfortable than Recaros. Then an iM with the same engine and upgrades.

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